The BJP on Monday hit out at its rival parties in Jammu and Kashmir, saying their stand on a number of issues, including the demand for restoration of Article 370, is the same as that of countries like Pakistan, and asked the Congress if it agrees with the 'anti-national' views of the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party over its support.
Addressing a press conference, senior BJP leader and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad cited a number of pro-people central laws that have been brought in force in the union territory following the 2019 repeal of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, and asked if the Congress supports their annulment by bringing back Article 370.
“I want to ask Sonia Gandhi (Congress president) and Rahul Gandhi, do they want restoration of Article 370? Please tell the nation categorically and clearly does the Congress support annulment of pro-people laws?” Prasad asked, attacking the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, an amalgamation of various Jammu and Kashmir parties whose demands have drawn some support from the Congress.
He noted the 'anti-national' views of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who had favoured China's support for Article 370's restoration, and PDP's Mehbooba Mufti, who had said she would not raise the national flag if the separate flag of Jammu and Kashmir is not restored, and sought to know the Congress' stand over them.
Prasad said women were earlier deprived of property rights in the union territory if they married outside and anti-corruption laws, reservation for the disadvantaged sections of society and various other 'humanist' central laws were not implemented in the region and accused the Gupkar Alliance of working to push Jammu and Kashmir towards 'narrow conservatism'.
“If a Muslim or Hindu girl from Jammu and Kashmir married a boy from outside, then she would have no right in the property of her father. We have changed it and restored her right to property,” he said.
The alliance of about 10 regional parties have demanded restoration of Article 370, a demand supported by some senior Congress leaders, including P Chidambaram.
Earlier, while targeting the Congress over its ties with the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also had a go at its leader Rahul Gandhi over comments of the likes of former US president Barack Obama to RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari and Congress' Kapil Sibal.
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When Obama got to know him (Rahul) in four-five days, then it is obvious that those who interact with him almost daily would also have realised what he is, Patra told reporters.
Congress leaders were praising him while carrying a burden of '100 tonnes of stone' on their chest, and now they feel suffocated, he said.
“The BJP had been saying so for long. Now a friend of Congress like Shivanand Tiwari is saying that he is a non-performing picnicking president,” Patra said.
Tiwari had on Sunday questioned the campaign run by the Congress and also had taken a swipe at Gandhi for not spending much time electioneering in the state.
Sibal is part of a group of leaders in the Congress who have demanded an overhaul of the party's organisation.
Targeting the tie-up of the Jammu and Kashmir parties, known as 'Gupkar Alliance', the BJP spokesperson described it as 'unholy', saying that it is aimed at opposing the implementation of laws duly passed by Indian Parliament.
“This Gupkar Alliance wants exactly what Pakistan and anti-India countries want. Pakistan has gone to every forum and spoken against the removal of Article 370. The Gupkar Alliance says the same thing,” Patra said.
Gupkar Alliance finalises seat-sharing pact for 2nd phase of DDC polls
The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration on Sunday finalised its seat-sharing formula for the second phase of the District Development Council polls, allocating eight seats each out of total 27 to the National Conference and the PDP.
The seat-sharing list was released by the alliance spokesperson and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) chairman Sajad Gani Lone.
The list was approved by PAGD chairman and NC president Farooq Abdullah at a meeting of the alliance partners at his residence on Sunday morning.
The last date for filing the nominations for the second phase of the polls is Monday, while the polling would take place on December 1.
According to the PAGD's seat-sharing pact, Lone's J&KPC will contest from five seats.
The Congress will field its candidates on three seats, while Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement will fight for two seats.
Awami National Conference (ANC), led by Abdullah's estranged sister Begum Khalida Shah, has been allotted one seat to contest.